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Alaine Garcia with text Alaine Garcia '20

Public Administration Certificate Online Graduate Certification

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Register By: February 24 Classes Start: February 26

Lead in Public Administration

  • $637 per credit for 18 credits
  • Complete in as few as 6 months
  • Start your path toward an advanced career in public administration
  • Upskill for the job you want
  • 24/7 access to coursework
  • Expand your knowledge of policy in the public sector

Graduate Certificate in Public Administration Program Overview

Learn how to employ responsive, efficient and accountable governance processes and policies in the Public Administration Graduate Certificate online program at Southern New Hampshire University. You'll gain the knowledge and insight you need to view governance issues from a public administrator's perspective.

The online public administration graduate certificate coursework will deepen your understanding of key public administration issues and policymaking practices at local, state, national and international levels. Examine the complexities of policymaking and learn why some policies are more effective than others.

In the public administration graduate certificate online program, you’ll explore the challenges and strategies of effective governance and public administration. Learn how to:

  • Assess political, social, economic and administrative realities as a public administrator
  • Identify key competencies, values and issues important to public sector organizations
  • Create a mission statement and organizational goals and objectives
  • Conduct SWOT analysis and stakeholder analysis for public sector organizations
  • Design and implement a performance measurement and management system
  • Employ strategic management practices used by local, state, federal and nonprofit organizations

Career Outlook

If your background is in the public sector or nonprofit work and you want to take on public administration duties, this certificate could be a great choice for you.

Karen Versuk with the text Karen VersukAnd if you're looking to take your career in a new direction, the opportunities are almost never-ending, according to Southern New Hampshire University adjunct professor Karen Versuk.

“Public administration is a dynamic discipline, and touches everyone in the world,” said Versuk. “Change is a constant for public administration, (but) service and working for the common good are the other two constants.”

While you'll be getting your public administration certificate, your title may not just be "public administrator." That's because public administration is interdisciplinary and collaborative at its core. Many jobs use public administration concepts to help an organization reach its goals. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Budget analyst. Already have a background in business or accounting? You could combine your knack for numbers with your new public administration skill set to help agencies and organizations coordinate their finances. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, budget analysts made a median annual salary of $79,940 in 2021.1
  • Compliance officer. Examine operations of government agencies and businesses to evaluate their compliance with laws and regulations. Compliance officers earned a median annual wage of $71,650 in 2021, according to the BLS.1
  • Policy analyst. If you're a policy wonk, a job in political science could be for you. You'll help support an organization's political agenda by analyzing and current policies through surveys, economic data, and election results. The BLS reports political scientists made a median annual salary of $122,510 in 2021.1
  • Public relations and fundraising manager. Be the point person for a political campaign or nonprofit. On the PR side, you'll manage internal and external communications. When it comes to fundraising, you'll have the duty of cultivating donors. According to the BLS, public relations and fundraising managers made a median annual salary of $119,860 in 2021.1
  • Urban or regional planner. Want to revitalize communities to provide improved economic, environmental and social wellness? Working with city officials and government agencies, you'll identify a community's needs and solve them through planning, zoning and developing for land use plans and programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, urban and regional planners made a median annual salary of $78,500 in 2021.1

The demand for public administrators is growing as well. According to the BLS, jobs for these administration and management roles should increase though 20311:

  • Administrative services managers: 7%
  • Social and community services managers: 12%
  • Medical and health services managers: 28%

Understanding the numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Public Administration Certificate


Whether you've earned your bachelor's and want to see what public administration is all about or want to supplement your grad degree with new skills, you've come to the right place. This 4-course certificate program was created to help you adapt to changing roles and responsibilities by developing a new skill set – or validating an existing one – in public administration. No matter where you are in your career, you can gain formal public administration education that will be helpful in your current or aspirational role.

An online graduate certificate in public administration provides an excellent credential and skill set, whether you are currently employed or seeking a position in the public sector. Individuals working in larger private or nonprofit organizations that routinely interact with various levels of government will also benefit from the curriculum.

Your graduate certificate coursework will introduce you to a wide range of public administration issues and management strategies, giving you broad exposure to contemporary issues in public administration. After completing the program, you'll be in a great position show off skills in:

  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Management
  • Performance measurement
  • Policy
  • Strategic planning
  • Stakeholder analysis

Dr. Michelle Caron with the text Dr. Michelle Caron"Having these advanced skills not only makes you more marketable, but also enhances advancement opportunities," said Dr. Michelle Caron, CPC, an associate dean at SNHU. "Global and national issues – including COVID-19 – punctuate the need for trained administrative service managers at all levels in this growing, in demand field.”

Even better news? If you decide to continue your education after earning your graduate public administration certificate, you'll have already completed the concentration courses required for the MBA in Public Administration.

Tuition & Fees

At SNHU, we’re committed to making education more accessible, by making it more affordable.

Beyond low tuition rates, we help our students save through transfer credits, credit for prior learning, grants and scholarships, tuition assistance and more. U.S. service members, both full and part time, as well as the spouses of those on active duty are also eligible for a 25% tuition discount.

This certificate is not eligible for federal financial aid. Students seeking alternatives to federal financial aid can explore tuition assistance, grants and scholarships, as well as private loans. To learn more about private loans, visit our Funding Your Education with Student Loans page.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
No Application Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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